After re-reading my previous posts, I think my key topic for blog postings have been character motivations. The characters that I favor in Shakespeare are generally the enigmatic evil-doers and the clever fools: I loved Iago and Feste (I didn’t write about him, but I thought about him), and I was very interested in trying to piece together their personal philosophies and the ways they justify their own actions. In my last blog post, I was really intrigued by how Othello translated into opera, and particularly how that affected the portrayal of Iago.
Another point of interest for me has been gender relations and female autonomy. Reading my first post, in which I briefly touched on Egeus’ accusation that Lysander had “bewitched” Hermia into loving him in A Midsummer Night's Dream, it reminded me of Brabantio making the same accusation to Othello. Though I had only really considered this accusation in terms of it’s ridiculousness, another way to look at it is as a reflection of the way women are though of and treated within these plays. The idea that a woman would have to be bewitched to choose a suitor that her father disproved of (and, in a way, the idea that a woman might be bewitched at all/so easily) suggests that women have no autonomy and are thought to be unable to think for themselves.
Of all my posts, my favorite was the one I wrote about Verdi’s Otello. When I was posting it, I felt like there was a lot more I wanted to say but I had to cut myself off so I wouldn’t write an epicly lengthy post that no one would want to read. I think one of the best ways for me to think about Shakespeare is by comparing different adaptations, as seeing interpretations of the plays help me conceptualize characterizes and scenes in ways I wouldn’t have otherwise.
I think the biggest flaw with my blog posts overall is that they lack focus and organization, though I think this has improved slightly with each successive post. My first post started out with no real thesis other than general confusion, but luckily turned out as a meditation on gender within A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In the latter two posts I think I had a better idea of what I wanted to write about, but they still read as being a bit unorganized and my latest post ended abruptly without a conclusion. In my future posts, I think I ought to put more time into outlining the points I want to make in my posts, so I don’t lose track of what I want to say and how I’m saying it.